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The holiday season is upon us, so you might be thinking about this year’s office holiday party, and fun office party ideas to liven things up as we celebrate 2022 and head into a new year.
Holiday parties are more than just an excuse to celebrate, and can serve several different functions for your professional team, including a boost in morale heading into the new year’s Q1.
We’ve pulled together some great office party ideas for Christmas and the holiday season this year, so you can give your creative brain a break after a long year of decision-making and problem-solving.
Why a holiday office party is essential this year
Holiday office parties serve a number of functions and are a great way to connect with your team and unwind after a productive year. Here are seven reasons you should consider having a holiday party this year:
They help boost morale to finish the year strong and start the new year on the right foot
They help the team connect and get to know one another
They can build teamwork and camaraderie
They allow your team to take a break at one of the most stressful times of the year, for many
They allow people to network and exchange ideas in a less formal setting
They can stimulate creativity and problem solving
They allow us time to celebrate each other and our hard work throughout the year
Office parties can take on a number of different forms, and don’t have to break your budget. Once you’ve decided on a spending budget, you can then determine the venue, food and refreshments, activities, and entertainment for your event.
Fresh holiday office party ideas for 2022
New and exciting holiday party ideas can get your team engaged this year, but the success of your holiday party idea comes down to planning. Whether you’re working with a party planning committee or planning on your own, break down your party ideas into their main components to help your party planning go smoothly.
One of our favorite corporate holiday party ideas is the season of giving idea. To help your team get into the holiday spirit, try organizing a 50/50 raffle in the days or weeks prior to the event. Give half of the proceeds to a local charity and the other half to the raffle winner, with the option to donate their winnings, too.
To go along with the giving spirit, you can organize group volunteer work for a local community outreach program, food pantry, or other organization. Arrange transportation for the group to convene at the volunteering location.
If your group is too large to organize for volunteer work, another way to get charitable is through a food drive, or a pet adoption drive from your local animal shelter. Ask a nearby shelter if they’d be willing to bring some adoptable pets to your holiday party, in hopes of finding homes. Your coworkers or staff will enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of some new furry office friends.
To tie together your season of giving theme, you can arrange a secret Santa gift exchange, or a yankee gift exchange. Set a budget limit and ask those who don’t wish to participate to donate a toy to a charity cause, organized at the office. Don’t forget the food and drinks!
Another festive office party idea is a little more food-focused. If your office is your venue for this year's party, make it all about our favorite part of the season with a sweet holiday treats party!
Ask your team members to compete in a gingerbread house decorating competition or a cookie decorating contest. To make things more interesting and to help build teamwork, split your group into teams and designate judges to choose the best holiday treats. Or, design your office party as a dessert potluck, and let employees compete for the best holiday treat and a chance at a prize!
Hire a food truck or cater your event if you’re planning to hold it in the office, or move your gathering to a more elegant venue for dinner and cocktails. If you’re staying in the office, create a signature hot cocoa for your party, or make it another competition for your colleagues and staff. These recipes can serve as inspiration.
If puppies or hot cocoa don’t appeal to you, you might be a Grinch. Whether or not that’s the case, you can theme your party around “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol,” and other classic holiday movies.
Ask your team to dress up as their favorite holiday character, or set up a classic holiday movie trivia game. Then, add on other trivia categories, like around-the-world holiday trivia or holiday fun fact trivia. If you have several rooms available to you, you can play a different holiday movie in a few different offices and let your staff come and go to visit and watch their favorite holiday movies.
You can also arrange a private viewing of a classic holiday film at a local movie theater, or hire a jazz band to dress the part and play classic holiday songs in the office.
No matter which idea or combination of ideas you choose, make sure you plan the food and refreshments, entertainment or activities (which are keys to a great holiday party) and transportation arrangements if your guests will be consuming alcohol.
Virtual holiday party ideas for remote teams
Working with a remote team this year? These zoom holiday party ideas will help boost morale and help your team stay connected, even when they’re apart.
The holidays around the world is one of several virtual office holiday party ideas that can help you learn more about your team members and their interests. Ask each employee to present one holiday tradition from their culture or home country to share with the team. Make this tradition as interactive as possible by asking team members to reveal an item or items that their peers will need for the tradition. If team members don’t want to share their personal traditions, ask them to learn about another culture’s traditions and teach what they’ve learned to the other team members.
Share an online list of holiday cocktails, and invite your colleagues and coworkers to select a signature holiday cocktail for the party (bonus points if it fits the around-the-world theme). You can also ask your guests to come prepared with their favorite holiday cookie or dessert recipe, and try to recreate each other's favorite holiday treats during the virtual party. Set your zoom screens with a festive holiday background and enjoy a cocktail, hot cocoa, or holiday treat together.
Send your remote team a small holiday gift, and ask them all to unwrap it during your zoom office party. Or, send the materials for a simple holiday ornament and have your team design their ornaments together on the call.
There are many holiday games you can play, even with a remote team. Trivia ideas still apply here, as well as other games like the holiday ABC game, match the baby picture to the staff member, or name that holiday tune (make sure your sound sharing is enabled).
Add some fun and family to the mix by inviting colleagues to bring their children and families for your holiday games. Divide party-goers into family teams to keep score and build competition.
Small office Christmas party ideas
If you’re looking for fun work party ideas for the small office, we recommend a holiday dinner, lunch, or cocktails at your favorite local venue. Ask your team to wear their festive holiday outfits and consider a small secret Santa exchange.
Small teams have the advantage of cost-effectiveness, so consider gifting each team member a gift card to enjoy a local restaurant with their families, too. A bottle of wine, holiday ornament, scented candle, or coffee shop gift card are also great alternatives.
Scale down the corporate party ideas mentioned above for small holiday office parties. Small groups are great for potluck meals at the office, too. Combine this with an office door decorating contest, or invite your team to bring their holiday gifts in for a day of gift wrapping while you enjoy some sweet treats together.
No matter what holiday party ideas you choose this year, make the most of it by remembering the spirit of the season. Spend time engaged with your team and getting to know them better as you enjoy some collective relief from the hustle and bustle of the office. Take time to celebrate community and generosity, no matter how you choose to do it.